College of the Rockies Tourism and Recreation Management students recently returned from a successful trip to the LinkBC Student Case Competition in Vancouver, taking first place in their category.
The competition is an opportunity for B.C. post-secondary students in tourism and hospitality programs to demonstrate their research, presentation and problem-solving skills by answering challenging case questions in front of a panel of industry leaders.
The College’s team was made up of four second-year students, Leo Li, Julie Biesen, Tony Fisher and Ashley Winchester. They were one of 17 teams from 13 B.C. post-secondary institutions. The competition was divided into diploma and degree categories as well as into two different themes: Tourism Human Resources and Hotel Sales and Marketing. The College team participated in the Tourism Human Resources theme against three other diploma-level programs.
On Oct. 20, the teams were presented with their case problem at 7 a.m. The College team’s question required them to create a plan that would assist industry leaders in coming up with best practices in regard to wages and benefits for employees. Students were asked to create ideal compensation packages that were competitive with other industries yet respectful of the tight margins that exist in the tourism sector. They then had five hours to complete their research and to create a 12-minute presentation outlining their recommendations.
All teams answered questions posed to them by a panel of industry judges who then graded them based on their research, analysis, recommendations, presentation and teamwork.
“The LinkBC Student Case Competition was an amazing experience. It was a great opportunity to meet industry professionals and other Tourism students from other institutions,” said Winchester. “I feel very proud to represent College of the Rockies and the Tourism and Recreation Management program. My team and I proved that even though we come from a small college, we are able to compete with the larger schools in the province.”
“I am extremely proud of our Tourism and Recreation Management Case Competition team. They excelled because of the exemplary job they did in connecting the theory and material they learned in the classroom to the real-life case situation presented to them in the competition,” said Tourism and Recreation instructor, Grant Unger.